Posts Tagged ‘STNA’

Why Being Bilingual Can Increase Your Job Prospects

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

With increases in immigration increases and a full-on nursing shortage, the demand for bilingual healthcare workers is growing. The greatest need appears to be for Spanish-speaking nurses. Only 2 percent of all US registered nurses are Hispanic/Latino. While a higher percentage of nurses may be Spanish-speaking, non-Hispanics/Latinos may not be aware of cultural differences.

Bilingualism is critical throughout the healthcare system. Patients tend to be more comfortable working with someone who not only speak their language, but also understand their culture. Otherwise, the integrity of the patient’s care could be compromised.

Bilingual nurses are needed all over the United States, though the demand is most crucial in states bordering Mexico. And the variety of Hispanic/Latino cultures only increases the need for bilingual nurses.

If you are a bilingual job seeker, you should subscribe to professional journals (such as the AJN, or American Journal of Nursing), and join Hispanic/Latino and non-Hispanic/Latino professional organizations. Be sure to inquire about collaborative efforts among hospitals, medical and nursing schools, nonprofit foundations and government agencies.

Of course, bilingual and bicultural healthcare needs extend beyond Spanish. Immigration is increasing from countries like Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos, which are places where medical care is vastly different from the United States. At the same time, immigration policy is staunching the flow of healthcare professionals from Asia. Since 9/11, there is much greater vigilance about who comes in. It’s harder for professionals, even folks with doctor’s and nurse’s degrees, to move there.

How to Communicate Your Way to a Better Work Environment

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

There comes a time in every healthcare professional’s career when things come to a stalemate – maybe a whiny colleague has pushed you past your boiling point, you have a difficult patient, or morale in your department has reached a new low. Something needs to change now. Your success in resolving the problem will largely depend on how skillfully you bring up difficult issues with your supervisor and how well you guide that conversation in a productive direction.

Nursing is a stressful occupation, whether you are a newly-minted STNA or a veteran travel nurse. Often, nurses find they have too much work, too little control over that work and not enough help from each other. Some things you can try include:

  • Brainstorming with peers to find solutions, creating a better working environment and then bringing issues to your supervisor as a group.
  • Designate a peer mediator within your unit or department. A mediator can control the process and ensure everyone involved behaves respectfully toward each other. Peer mediation is voluntary and confidential, which makes the approach successful.

Many times, organizational structure can be the problem. Being supportive of your colleagues is another way to ensure that everyone feels appreciated and “heard.”

  • Be a role model for others.
  • Support effort as well as success.
  • Give encouragement when someone tackles a difficult assignment.
  • Increase your own self-respect.
  • Foster a win-win attitude in your department.
  • Ask your supervisor if you can devote a portion of each staff meeting to talking about what is and is not working in your unit and what isn’t. Give people a chance to express their concerns and brainstorm solutions as a group.
  • Learn to negotiate.